Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul stated at a press conference Wednesday that there was “no indication” of terrorist activity in regards to a car explosion at a checkpoint near the U.S.-Canada border.
At around 11:27 a.m. a vehicle was seen speeding near the checkpoint area on the U.S. side of the Rainbow Bridge. Upon hitting a barrier, the car went flying into the air crashing into a Customs and Borders Patrol booth causing an explosion, according to the governor.
Following the video release of the incident, reports of a possible terror attack were circled. Hochul addressed the rumors head-on, emphasizing that “at this time” there was “no sign” of terrorist involvement. (RELATED: Gov. Kathy Hochul Unveils Effort To Devise ‘Misinformation’ Toolkit For K-12 Students)
“I just returned from the scene of a horrific accident that led to a high-level anxiety all the way from Western New York to Albany to Washington. But before I describe the details, I want to be very clear to Americans and New Yorkers: at this time, there is no indication of a terrorist attack,” Hochul stated.
“And again, at a time when there’s such high anxiety, stress levels are already high. And we’ve been on heightened alert since October 7. That’s why it’s so important for me to stand here and tell the world based on what we know at this moment, and again, anything can change, there is no sign of terrorist activity with respect to this crash.”
There is “no indication” of a terrorist attack at Rainbow Bridge, Gov. Kathy Hochul says. pic.twitter.com/XUZYdyZK3G
— Charlie Specht (@Charlie_Reports) November 22, 2023
Authorities believe that the car had been heading from New York to Ontario, Canada, when the driver suddenly began to speed at 100 mph, hitting the barrier and exploding upon impact, according to the New York Post. The two occupants inside the car were confirmed dead on the scene, however, their identities have not been released.
“If you can imagine, this vehicle basically incinerated. Nothing is left but the engine. The pieces are scattered over 13, 14 booths,” Hochul stated. “So it is a large scene and it’s going to take a lot of time for our federal law enforcement partners who are with me here today and I’ll identify to be able to piece together the real story to identify the make of the car.”
A Border Patrol officer who had been at the checkpoint booth during the accident was shortly released after being treated at a hospital for minor injuries, according to Hochul.
Hochul confirmed that the bridge will remain closed as the investigation continues, highlighting other avenues of travel for local residents. While Amtrak has paused its cross-border travels between the state and Canada, domestic flights from the Buffalo Airport are still available “despite early reports” that they had been suspended.